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Samsung asks Supreme Court to overturn Apple patent damages

Samsung asks Supreme Court to overturn Apple patent damages

Samsung Electronics has asked the US Supreme Court to overturn a USD 399 million patent award it was ordered to pay Apple for copied iPhone designs. According to the petition reported by Bloomberg, Samsung asked the court to consider the scope of design patents and how damages are calculated in such cases. It’s challenging an appeals court ruling that Samsung had infringed the design patents and that the law entitles Apple to a cut of Samsung’s total profits from smartphones that used the patented designs. 

Design patents cover the ornamental look of an object rather than any functional aspect. If the high court takes up the case, it will be the first time it’s looked at the law regarding design patents since disputes involving spoon handles in the 1870s and carpets in the 1890s. “A patented design might be the essential feature of a spoon or rug,” Samsung wrote in its petition. “But the same is not true of smartphones, which contain countless other features that give them remarkable functionality wholly unrelated to their design.” 

Samsung also is challenging the infringement analysis, saying the jury was improperly allowed to consider even unprotected aspects of the iPhone in determining if the specific patented features were infringed. The USD 399 million forms the bulk of a USD 548 million settlement reached earlier this month, which Samsung paid on 11 December. The Supreme Court is expected to decide early next year whether to take up the case. 

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